Toronto’s beloved rap superstar Aubrey Graham, better known as Drake, released his highly-anticipated album ‘Certified Lover Boy’ on Friday morning.
Fans stayed up to listen to the 21-song collection, which dropped on streaming platforms shortly after 1 a.m.
Amid the usual deep synth basses and moody rhythms, Drake didn’t disappoint in reiterating his Canadian roots.
Here are some of local Toronto references that Drake included in his newest release:
“City coming off of lockdown”
Toronto entered Step Three of the provincial reopening plan on July 16, which allowed small indoor and larger outdoor social gatherings.
Retail stores were able to reopen with capacity limits and indoor and outdoor dining was permitted.
This marked the official breaking of the city’s lockdown.
In another edition of Drake’s AM/PM songs, the 14th song on the album is a reference to the artist’s $6.7-million mansion in the North York neighbourhood Bridle Path.
“I made north of the border like Vito Rizzuto”
A reference is made to Vito Rizzuto, known as Montreal’s Teflon Don, an infamous Italian-Canadian crime boss who was allegedly the leader of the Sicilian Mafia. He was involved in drug trafficking.
Rizzuto died at 67 years old.
The final track on ‘Certified Lover Boy’ is packed with local references, serving as an ode to Drake’s humble beginnings as a ‘Degrassi’ star.
“Look, me and Lil Sandra bagging CDs in the bubble wrap
People recognize me from the TV but I’m done with that”
When Drake was a star on the Canadian show Degrassi, playing the role of Jimmy Brooks, he was also working towards a start in music.
He reminisces on times he and his mother, Sandra Graham, would package CDs of his 2006 independently-released debut mixtape, ‘Room for Improvement.’
“Hard to pay 40, pay Noel, pay Niko back
All the nights I needed to vent to someone and CJ sat
All the nights Chubbs was pulling up where I need him at”
Drake pays homage to members of his team that helped him from the beginning. Noah “40” Shebib, Noel and Niko are all part of the OVO label — 40 is a producer and the co-founder of OVO Sound, Noel is an OVO engineer and Niko is Drake’s close friend who helps with OVO advertising and merchandising.
Christopher Joel “CJ” Gibson is the rapper’s tour manager and Chubbs is a long-time friend.
“Can’t picture bein’ a hubby, finger too stubby to fit a ring on
Unless Kawhi wanna run it back”
Kawhi Leonard helped the Toronto Raptors’ claim the NBA Championships title in 2019, which included a 14-carat diamond ring.
Drake was one of the many fans that wanted Leonard to stay with the city when he decided to move to his hometown team, the Los Angeles Clippers, in July 2019.
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